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China Farm Tourism

Photographer: How Hwee Young

 

As China develops and becomes more urbanized, farms around big cities like Beijing are moving away from pure agriculture to integrate more leisure and tourism activities to attract city dwellers wishing for a different experience.

 

The recent inaugural Beijing Farm Festival opening on 18 July and running through the months July and August, is aimed at promoting agricultural tourism where many of the farms participating are large scale integrated farms that include theme parks, hotels, conference, wedding and even spa facilities. According to local reports, Beijing has 1,300 such agricultural cum leisure farms receiving millions of visitors per year.

 

Landiao Zhuangyuan or Blues Manor, situated on the edge of Beijing city is one such integrated farm participating in the festival. Famous for its lavender theme garden, it is a popular venue for couples taking wedding photos and holding wedding ceremonies. The farm also offers plots of land for rent at 6,000 RMB (872 euros) per year for 30 square meters of farm land aimed at urbanites who want to experience growing their own fruit and vegetables.

 

For Rongqing Ecological Farm specialized in growing grapes and organic food, it includes on its sprawling land of 2,000 mu or 133 hectares a huge replica of a European castle still under construction that is planned to become a children's education theme park. It also has a hotel comprising of 26 suites and rooms on its grounds and costs up to 1,088 RMB per night (158 euros) for one of its standard rooms.

 

Visitors wishing to experience how traditional farming was done in the past would be hard-pressed to find them at these large scale modern farms. However, they would be able to see both modern scientific labs and exhibits of traditional farm peripherals on display at the World Flowers Gardens. Part horticultural farm and part botanical gardens, it is also participating in the festival.